I have not found a better book for those interested in apples in the UK. There is an excellent potted history, plus details of many apples varieties local and foreign. A brief guide to growing apples at the back tells you most of what you know to start a small orchard.
The descriptions of the apple varieties are what makes this book outstanding. They include details of history, appearance, flavour, shape and so on - enough not only to help identify and apple, but also to help you choose one to grow. For instance, the entry on Ashmead's Kernel gives a brief decription of its development by a Gloucester physician, describes its taste as "strong, sweet-sharp intese flavour reminiscent of fruit or acid drops", talks a bit about what it's grown for, comprehensive details of appearance, picking and storage dates. There is also a drawing to help in identification.
The one downfall of the book is the shortage of apple pictures. There are only 32 plates, all of which show apples of great interest in this country - but a poor showing nonetheless. Obviously it would require a mammoth effort to provide pictures of over 2000 apples, but a more comprehensive photo directory would have been useful. Failing that, they might have mentioned that pictures of many apples are available on the Brogdale webiste (referenced in the back - but failing to mention the availability of descriptions and photos on the website).
Although 2000+ seems a lot, there are a lot of UK apples missing. I would also have preferred that they concentrate on full coverage of the UK (for instance, they are missing several of our local cider apples), and omit some of the foreign apples.
However, this is still a great book for what it does do, and well worth having if you have even a few trees.